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Dick Billings

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Batting average  .227
Runs  101
Home runs  16
Name  Dick Billings

Runs batted in  142
Role  Baseball player
Hits  280
Dick Billings ecximagesamazoncomimagesI71tprjcxRxLSY355jpg

Education  Michigan State University

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Richard Arlin Billings (born December 4, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher, outfielder and third baseman for the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers (1968–74) and St. Louis Cardinals (1974–75).


Dick Billings Texas Rangers Cards 1974 Topps Dick Billings

Baseball career

Billings was drafted out of Michigan State University by the Washington Senators in the 25th round of the 1965 Major League Baseball draft. He played as an outfielder and occasional third baseman in the Senators' minor league system for four years before making his major league debut at the age of 25 as a pinch hitter on September 11, 1968. Billings had his first appearance as a starting player on September 20, 1968 as a left fielder in a game against the Detroit Tigers.

Billings began the 1969 season with the Senators but, in June he returned to the minor leagues and was turned into a catcher. In 1970, he posted a .305 batting average with 15 home runs and 67 runs batted in while playing for the Denver Bears. His performance earned him a late-season return to the major leagues in September 1970, where he served as a backup catcher behind Paul Casanova.

Billings won the outset catcher's job in July 1971 when Senators manager Ted Williams benched Casanova for weak hitting. Although he led American League catchers with 16 passed balls, he ended the season with a career-high .992 fielding percentage in 116 games. In 1972 the Senators relocated to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and were renamed the Texas Rangers. Billings started the season in a platoon role alongside left-hand hitting catcher Hal King. King was sent to the minor leagues in July and, Billings eventually played in a career-high 133 games. He also posted career-highs with a .254 batting average, 15 doubles, 5 home runs, and 68 runs batted in. On August 13, 1972, Billings produced 5 runs batted in on 4 hits in a 13 to 4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Williams resigned and was replaced by Whitey Herzog as the Rangers' manager, who installed Billings into a platoon role alongside catcher Ken Suarez for the 1973 season. In May, he went on the 15-day disabled list. Billings was the Rangers catcher on July 30, 1973 when Jim Bibby pitched a no-hitter against the defending world champion Oakland Athletics. Batting as the Rangers' cleanup hitter, his average dropped to .179 with 3 home runs and 32 runs batted in.

With the arrival of new manager Billy Martin in 1974, Billings found himself in a backup role behind defensive standout Jim Sundberg. In August 1974 his contract was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals and was sent to the minor leagues to play for the Tulsa Oilers. He was called as a back up to the major leagues late in the season where he appeared in only one game on September 11. Billings began the 1975 season with the Tulsa Oilers before being promoted to the Cardinals in June. After only 3 games with the Cardinals, he was sent back to Tulsa in order to make room on the roster for outfielder Buddy Bradford. Billings retired at the end of the season at the age of 32.

Career statistics

In an eight-year major league career, Billings played in 400 games, accumulating 280 hits in 1,231 at bats for a .227 career batting average along with 16 home runs, 142 runs batted in and an on-base percentage of .281. He had a .984 career fielding percentage in 248 games as a catcher, a .966 fielding percentage in 92 games as an outfielder and, a .906 fielding percentage in 14 games as a third baseman.

Billings was also a player-manager for the Águilas del Zulia in the Venezuelan Winter League during the 1971–1972 and 1972–1973 seasons.


Dick Billings Wikipedia